ADHD (ABCT Fact Sheet)

People with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have difficulties in sustaining attention to tasks, particularly if they demand more effort than usual. They have significant problems with resisting distractions, which contributes further to their problems paying attention. Just as problematic are difficulties in controlling their impulses to act or to inhibit behavioral responses to situations. Many, though by no means all, may also have problems with controlling their activity level, being perceived as more active, restless, fidgeting, and otherwise engaged in behavior that is not relevant or is frankly inappropriate for the task or situation. The disorder has had various labels over the past century, including hyperkinetic reaction of childhood, hyperactivity or hyperactive child syndrome, minimal brain dysfunction, and Attention Deficit Disorder (with or without Hyperactivity). It is now known to occur in children,
adolescents, and adults.

Although normal individuals, particularly young children, may show some of these behavioral characteristics, what distinguishes the individual with ADHD from others individual is the considerably greater degree or frequency with which they display such characteristics that rises to a level of being developmentally inappropriate for their age group.

The treatment of ADHD requires a comprehensive behavioral, psychological, educational, and medical/psychiatric evaluation, followed by the education of the individuals or their caregivers as to the nature of the disorder and the methods proven to assist with its management. Treatment is likely to be multi-disciplinary, requiring the assistance of the mental health, educational, and medical professions at various points in its course. Treatment must be provided periodically over long intervals to assist ADHD individuals in coping with their behavioral disability.

A publication from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies


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